Mergers & Acquisitions and Residential Real Estate and Contractors and Heating & Air Conditioning and Construction and Real Estate & Retail and Small Business

Defender Direct acquires Williams Comfort Air

October 3, 2012

Home-security and satellite-dish company Defender Direct Inc. has acquired local heating, cooling and plumbing powerhouse Williams Comfort Air, the company announced Wednesday morning.

The acquisition will create a home-services company with nearly 2,200 employees and $335 million in annual revenue.

Terms of the transaction were not divulged.

Indianapolis-based Defender Direct said its purchase of Carmel-based Williams should enable the company to grow its heating and cooling operations in multiple locations, starting in Cincinnati and Louisville. Defender Direct began rolling out its HVAC-installation service in the two cities in September 2011, when it selected Carrier Corp. as its equipment provider.

In a prepared statement, Defender Direct President and CEO Marcia Barnes said the acquisition of Williams takes the company’s heating and cooling offerings to the next level.

“Williams Comfort Air has a legacy of growth and delivering outstanding results,” she said. “This represents the combination of two locally owned and operated, privately held companies with a common goal of providing a pipeline of quality services into the American home.”

Defender Direct pegs itself as the second-largest seller of home-security systems in the country, trailing only ADT. Selling home heating and cooling services to that customer base should help the company grow even more.

Defender Direct’s revenue climbed 81 percent from 2008 to 2010, to $256 million, ranking it as the 15th-fastest-growing private company in the Indianapolis area, according to IBJ statistics. Sales topped $311 million last year.
 
Williams grew nearly as quickly during the same three-year period. Its revenue increased 63 percent, to $22.2 million, ranking it as the 17th-fastest-growing company.  Revenue hit $23 million in 2011.

Defender Direct said it will retain the Williams name, leadership and its 180 employees.

Defender Direct has roughly 2,000 employees at 140 locations nationwide. About 800 of those employees work in Indiana.

Joe Huck, president and owner of Williams, has worked in heating and cooling since 1974, and founded Huck Heating in 1985. He sold the company in 2001 to Maryland-based Bluedot, where he worked until 2007.

In May 2007, Huck, along with four business partners, acquired Carmel-based Williams. The partners bought the then-41-year-old company from Jim Williams Sr., who was preparing to retire. Williams founded another HVAC company with family members called Edge Guys.

Founded in 1998 by David P. Lindsey, Defender Direct’s security and satellite television brands include ADT and DISH Network.
 

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